Hahira, GA, June 16, 2020 — The new Turner Center Art Park, across from the Turner Center for the Arts in Valdosta, GA, has plenty of room for physical distance while listening to the finalists play in the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, 7-9 PM, Saturday, August 22, 2020, at 605 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia, 31601. (See also PDF.)
“I’m honored to be the Master of Ceremonies for this celebration of our rivers, creeks, swamps, and springs,” said radio personality Scott James, of Talk 92.1, WDDQ, out of Valdosta, GA.
“Songwriters, don’t forget to send in your song by Wednesday, July 8, 2020!” said Laura D’Alisera, our 2018 overall winner and 2019 headliner, and now two years on the organizing committee.
Submissions can be songs about any river, stream, spring, sink, swamp, lake, or pond in the Suwannee River Basin or Estuary (except not the Santa Fe Basin; that has its own contest). Judging of finalists will take into account integrity and value of the waters, historical value, originality of lyrics and music and musical consistency between them, performance, and clarity of message. Extra credit for naming the most rivers (springs, etc.). Even listing them counts; tying them together in a way that shows their value is better.
“Tickets are on sale now, $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and we’re working on livestreaming for ticket holders who do not want to go to in-person events,” said Songwriting Contest Committee Chair Tom H. Johnson, Jr.
“We’ll have a food truck, and if all goes well, beer or other alcohol sales,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman.
“I’m thrilled to have the Contest at the Turner Center, and the Art Park is the perfect venue!” said Sementha Mathews, Executive Director, Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, Valdosta, Georgia. “In case of rain, we’ll move inside, keeping six feet apart, of course.”
Bring your own chairs if you can; we will have some chairs and tables, but everyone should try to keep six feet apart beyond your own family group.
“We’re lining up judges now, so if you want to apply, let us know soon,” said Committee member Eileen Box.
“We’ll have a silent auction and kayak raffle, as well as talks on what we do: outings, programs, and projects, from water quality testing to opposing pipelines and mines and plastic water bottles, to promoting water trails and a Troupville River Camp,” said WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman. “Plus a range of buttons, stickers, hats, notecards, signs, shirts, and posters for sale: this is a fundraiser for WWALS Watershed Coalition.”
“Thanks to our top-tier sponsor Georgia Beer Company!” said Committee member Sara Jay.
“Yes, Scott James is also the Mayor of Valdosta, and all elected officials present will be offered 3 minutes to speak; just remember this is a musical celebration, not an airing of grievances,” added the Suwannee Riverkeeper.
About WWALS: Founded in June 2012, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) advocates for conservation and stewardship of the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, Santa Fe, and Suwannee River watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities. John S. Quarterman is the Suwannee Riverkeeper®, which is a staff position and a project of WWALS as the member of Waterkeeper® Alliance for the Suwannee River Basin.
Contact: John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper
WWALS Watershed Coalition
PO Box 88, Hahira, GA 31632